The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has inaugurated six completed projects across the country under the digital economy sector.
The inauguration, which was done virtually by Pantami on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari was geared towards supporting the developing a digital Nigeria.
The Minister noted that the drive was in line with the present administration’s economic diversification, ensuring security, fighting corruption and leveraging on deploying Information Communications Technology (ICT), in achieving its agenda.
He said that the six projects could be mapped to relevant pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy Strategy (NDEPS).
The projects include the Tertiary Institution Centre, Enugu; the Nigerian Communication Satellite Northwest Regional Office, Kaduna; and Information Community Centre, Katsina.
Others are Information Technology Hub, Kaduna; Information Technology Development Hub, Lagos; and Emergency Communication Centre, Kaduna.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled NDEPS on Nov. 28, 2019, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy “as part of key requirements of the e-government master plan.
“The President had directed government institutions to create a digital transformation technical working group that will work with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
“The digital transformation is to ensure seamless and coordinated implementation of projects, programmes and policies.
“The Plan is made up of eight pillars: first of the pillars is Developmental Regulation, which he said, is conceived as the regulation that promotes and supports development.
“We are working on development regulations, digital integration, building a solid infrastructure, deployment of emerging technologies, as well as local content promotion and we want all hands on deck.”
The Minister emphasised the importance of Digital Literacy and Skills which were the second mainstay of the digital economy policy, adding that a digital economy was unrealisable without skills.
“In Nigeria, what we lack is not certificates but skills. We need to change our perception. Degrees should be a validation of skills.
“By providing skills, we will have many entrepreneurs who will be potential employers and not potential employees.
“The projects are the reflection of the dividends of the sustainable developmental programmes of the administration of Mr President,” Pantami said.
In his chairing remarks, Gov. Umara Zulum of Borno commended Pantami for his efficient supervision and policy direction of the parastatals under the ministry.
Zulum said that the projects were a testimony of effective implementation of policy through projects and programmes of the Ministry, noting that this would create employment thereby steering the economy and contributing greatly to Nigeria’s GDP.
“The establishment of these six projects in different parts of the country will no doubt create employment opportunities and stimulate the national economy.
“Honestly speaking, the activities of the ministry of communication were not known to many of us prior to the coming of Pantami,” he said.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, commended Pantami and described the gesture as infectious enthusiasm.
“They said he is new but his infectious enthusiasm really pervades both the new and the old.
“He has shown the power of remitting youthfulness in assisting our government and Mr President to deliver the promises that have been made,” he said.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, said that the projects were as a result of enabling policies and institutions under the supervision of the Ministry.
Danbatta also said that the projects would enable the digital transformation of Nigeria.
Dignitaries at the event include Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Managing Director, Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone (GBB) Limited, Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, among others our correspondents.